"Lord of the Flies" Virtual Breakout Box Project Captivates Eighth Graders

In order to apply their understanding of William Golding's classic novel Lord of the Flies — and to practice their communication and problem-solving skills — students in Ms. Derry’s eighth grade English class were given the challenge of solving a virtual breakout box this week.

Breakout boxes are similar to escape rooms, but instead of the goal being to leave a room, the goal is to unlock several padlocks that are all attached to a central hasp, allowing the students to open a box. The clues for each lock’s code require understanding of concepts related to the unit, so the box serves as a fun group review.

In their reflective letters at the beginning of Virtual School, several students identified the breakout box that they had completed after their last whole-class novel as one of their favorite activities from their face-to-face English class. This inspired Humanities teacher Ms. Derry to create a virtual breakout box. Through this activity, students solved puzzles, arranged journal entries into chronological order, played true-or-false bingo, and matched quotes to characters in order to unlock their virtual boxes.

The first group to all open the box was Parker Collins, Avery Holman, and Natalie Swope, and the second group to finish was Matthew Earl, Will Fromherz, and Brooks Sherrill. Philip Derrick was the first student to crack the code of the optional secret message.

Thank you to Ms. Derry for designing this engaging activity, and great job to the eighth grade students, who worked collaboratively and persevered to solve their virtual breakout box challenge!